‘ADRENALINE’: how a trainee hairdresser and single mum created Europe’s biggest urban sports park and survived the loss of her young son. “I didn’t know a skateboard from an ironing board”! Mandy Young, co-founder of ‘Adrenaline Alley’. In 2014 Olympic cyclist Sir Chris Hoy declared ‘Adrenaline Alley’ - Europe’s biggest and most successful urban sport‘s centre - ‘a triumph out of tragedy’. He publicly paid tribute to Mandy Young who created the centre out of the deserted remnants of an abandoned Corby chicken factory. Mandy’s son John had survived nine years of misdiagnosis before undergoing surgery for a massive brain tumor. His solace became the time he spent on his skateboard and writing songs on his guitar. The chemotherapy and ‘difference’ that followed John’s surgery led to peer bullying and ultimately a violent mugging whose protagonists left John for dead. In 2002 Mandy vowed to create a safe haven for John and his contemporaries to engage in ‘urban sports’. At this point she says “I didn’t know a skateboard from an ironing board.” Despite fierce and astonished resistance from officials, town planners and councils, Mandy and her close knit family persevered. John helped his mum understand the needs of BMX bike enthusiasts, ‘in-line skaters’, ‘skateboarders’ and scooter riders. Together they built a temporary outdoor facility on a disused car park at Rockingham Speedway. Soon the ramps were overrun and oversubscribed, but the Speedway then needed their car park back. A local entrepreneur and land owner Alfred Buller offered a set of abandoned chicken sheds. Despite the poor state of the buildings Mandy persuaded a skeptical team of family and volunteers to transform outright dereliction to a world class facility. In 2010 John Chard Young died in his sleep aged just 24. Despite everything, Mandy and her husband Paul, carried on with ‘Adrenaline Alley’ as John’s legacy. Two added halls and a huge ‘dirt trail’ have since been constructed, with a photography/media studio and ‘infinity cove’ further contributing to youth activities in Corby – a town ravaged by unemployment and disenchanted youth following the loss of the steel works under Thatcher’s Britain. To 1000’s of young people plagued with computer game obesity and apathy Mandy has brought Olympic hopes and voluntary athleticism. The world’s urban sports enthusiasts now revere ‘Adrenaline Alley’ as the best park outside of the USA and Olympians and world champion’s flock there to train. Mandy created over 30 new jobs on this seven acre site and the company is now going national, she reached beyond the sky and touched stars. This is her astonishing true story: ‘ADRENALINE - Triumph out of tragedy’. Paul Balmer Director.

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